Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Porfidio Fest


Coming on the heels of JCRF Fest in San Francisco of 2008, members of the Blue Agave Forum have talked about getting together to taste, talk, celebrate and debate arguably one of the greatest  tequilas ever bottled, Porfidio.  I say bottle and not produced because Porfidio bought their tequila from many different distilleries, but never really made it themselves.  At this event, we had at least 5 bottles with different NOM numbers on them, and some had no NOM numbers at all.  One thing about Porfidio, is that they only used stickers for their NOM numbers instead of printing it on their bottles.  They may have done this because they were never sure where the juice was coming from that they were going to be bottling.  Also, some of the stickers may have fallen off, but they may not have been placed on the bottles at all, as rumors have been bounced around that some of the juice came from destilado de agave distilleries in Jalisco. 

Porfidio may have done some of their own aging, blending, and “other” stuff, but Porfidio Tequila was never made by Porfidio.  Yes, I know they have (or had) a distillery in Puerto Vallarta, but it looks more like it was run more as a live museum for tourists, than an actual facility. 

Although you can still buy Porfidio, it is no longer a tequila, but rather an agave distillate and no one truly knows where it is produced, and the story behind the Porfidio name and all of its products make for a great soap opera. But that story is for another day.

I had been really looking forward to this exclusive event for quite a while as I had not spent much time with any of the Porfidio products mostly due to the fact that in the 5 years since I delved more into tequila, finding a “real” Profidio was not easy and was also costly on the pocket book. And Since I had started off as a blanco drinker, I was not in a hurry to taste what many consider to be, the “King of all Tequilas” – Porfidio Single Barrel Añejo (SBA). Since I had a strong background with blanco and reposado tequilas, I know I was ready to learning more about añejos and extra añejos about a year and a half ago. Since that time my palate has grown by leaps and bounds and not its time to learn more about the elusive line of tequilas from Porfidio.

Held in SeattleWashington on June 5-6, 2009, Porfidio Fest brought together 7 tequila aficionados and collectors from across the United States, to taste more than 30 different Porfidio tequilas.  I did not get to taste all of them, but I did take notes on a few of them.  What I did conclude at this event was that Porfidio was a good tequila – yes I know it was life changing for many drinkers out there, but that was a long time ago when the tequila category was pretty limited, and the knowledge even less.  It was also what I would consider to be the first 


Note; not all "tequilas" with tasting notes are pictured, but all of these were opened and tasted at Porfidio Fest.  Tasting notes are listed in order of how they were tasted.


DAY 1




















Order
Description
Nose

Taste
Rating
1
Mega 4.23 L
Citrus, butter, scotch smoked caramel.
Dry, a bit of alcohol and a bit funky taste. Does not match the nose

7.75/10
2
Barrique
Smoke, very alcoholy, bitter lemon

More citrus and bitterness
7/10
3
SBA 375 Japan NOM 1423
Simple and light with a touch of sweet smoke
Bigger and better than nose. Sweet vanilla and citrus but dry

8/10
4
SBA 375 NOM 1141 Elaboradora y Procesado de Agaves y sus Derivados El Arenal Jalisco Lote 0043

Very similar to SBA Mega but more alcoholy. Citrus and vanilla
Loads of caramel but again, slight bitter lemon. Long finish
8.5 /10
5
SBA 375 NOM 1423
Floral agave. Done with autoclave with funky center but sweet top. It’s not your typical Porfidio flavor profile.

Taste is funk! Reminds me as if Arette made a bad batch of tequila and sold it to Porfidio- and then they tried to save it by using additives.  
6/10
6
Guaje “Añejo Extra”
High alcohol; not very complex. Very light in color

 Not so good.
5.5/10
7
Blano NOM 1109 Lote 0450
Floral agave with sweet top
Reminds me of SBA NOM 1423

6.5/10

8
Blanco NOM 1109 Japan import. No Lote number


Soapy mint with slight funk
5/10
9
Repo NOM 1141

Same funk as SBA 1423 and Blanco 1109. Chocolate mint funk

5/10
10
Añejo (Red Cactus)
Similar to SBA
Big and smoky, with a nice long finish. Damn! My favorite so far! Very Mezcal like!

8.5/10
11
SBA Super Jalisco 39.3%
Similar nose to original. Not siblings, but rather a nephew. Not the real Porfidio SBA but close.

Butterscotch and spice
7/10
12
12 year

Typical SBA nose
Very alcoholy, yet sweet and spicy. Nice finish but gets bitterish.
6/10


DAY 2









Order
Description
Nose

Taste
Rating
1
Silver Japan import. No NOM
Smoke and pepper. Agave with a touch of sweetness
Mirror the nose with a touch of “green” and “black”(grass and anise? ). Great creamy texture then turns dry. Long finish that starts peppery then faces to “black”. Almost a lowlands “mezcal” aka destilado de agave.
8.5/10
2
Triple Distilled Plata Blue (Bottle No. 5089). Frosted bottle
Very similar to Japan Silver. Nose is smoke and tangy orange agave with slight alcohol top

Very dry and short. More anise than smoke and light tangy finish. Not as nice as silver
7.5/10
3
Triple Distilled Plata Cactus Bottle (Bottle No. 8834)

Smoky funk
Citrus funk
6.5/10
4
Triple Distilled Plata destilado de agave #15614
Skunky floral agave with touch of smoke.
Very decent lowlands agave. Little floral, little herbal (anise), dry with slight bitterness

7.5/10
5
2 year NOM 856 Añejo (Golden Green bottle) (This NOM label was over an original small label NOM 1107)
Pepper grass and alcohol. (very light in color)
Really nice earth and grasswith a touch of sweet butter on top. Nice finish
8/10
6
SBA 371 NOM 1141 (second tasting)

There’s a funky chemical presence in the taste that gets drowned out by the thick sweet caramel, but then comes back in the finish, but luckily only for a short period of time.


7
Mega (second tasting)

Same as last night but more chemically funk is noticeable.


So you may be asking..."what do you mean by 'funk'"?  I use the term "funk" with agave spirits for when something does not taste right.  Either shortcuts were made, manipulation of the product was done by using additives and flavorings, or the product has been corked, or a combination of all 3. 

By the time this event was over, there were 4 bottles that I really dug; Silver Japan import, Red Cactus Añejo, SBA 375 NOM 1141, and the 2 year añejo NOM 846.

1 comment:

  1. found this NOM1107 & NOM856 using Añejo + NATURAL on the label

    http://www.tequilasdonrafael.com/web/english/coleccion/detalle.php?id_tequila=480&palabra_clave=

    http://www.tequilasdonrafael.com/web/english/coleccion/detalle.php?id_tequila=2101&palabra_clave=

    ReplyDelete